View Full Version : The Pub Curmudgeon - I want to get off

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17-06-2012, 11:02
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The petition against the beer duty escalator (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29664) is currently enjoying major promotion, and so far has gained over 57,000 signatures. But, realistically, what are the chances of the escalator being stopped before the 2015 General Election? The strong view of the respondents to the poll was “zero”, which commanded 61% of all votes cast. On the other hand, the four who voted “a certainty” demonstrate a remarkable degree of optimism.
I would say “very unlikely” rather than “zero”, as there must be a slim chance that before the election the government will decide to take the foot off the gas to win a few votes. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
And there is a skeleton at the feast – if minimum pricing comes in, there must surely be a strong temptation for the government to bring duties closer to the level of the minimum price, to ensure the benefit flows to the Exchequer rather than private businesses. Those championing minimum pricing need to be very careful what they wish for.

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